Revolutionising chronic disease treatment
By combining our extensive knowledge of nanotechnology, photonics and medical implantables, Holst Centre creates next-level Peripheral Nerve Stimulation applications with the potential to revolutionise chronic disease treatment.
Nanotechnology has the potential to not only restore functions of the human body, but also to enlarge or transform human capabilities. With wearables, ingestables and implantables we will soon benefit from invisible, imperceptible technology on and inside our body that improves our health in a very precise and personal way. The pacemaker is a very good and succesfull example of a device that is capable of changing people’s lives. Despite having a serious condition, you can fully participate in society: the patient becomes an independent person again.
Improving people’s lives
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is another very promising field for closed-loop therapeutic systems with almost endless possibilities to improve people’s lives. The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves outside of the central nervous system (CNS) and connects the CNS to the organs, limbs and skin. It is a two directional pathway between CNS and internal organs and hence can have powerful impact on the functionality of both. Interest in peripheral nerve stimulation is growing as an alternative or a complement to pharmacological treatment, i.e., treatment with medication, for applications such as epilepsy, pain, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease.
To develop and build next-generation PNS therapeutic systems, we rely on our extensive experience in developing implantable and insertable medical devices, using nanoelectronics, sensor technology and AI. With smaller components and devices that can be placed under the skin, we improve on freedom of design. We use new methods to stimulate the peripheral nervous system, we measure the effect, and close the loop by creating a continuous adaptive system. There are new and very promising new applications for this technology, for example in the treatment of chronic rheumatic arthritis.
Leap forward in R&D
We benefit from imec’s extensive knowledge of photonic technologies, and TNO’s wide experience as successful application designers. Our technological expertise is backed-up with our knowhow and experience in the cardiovascular, respiratory and kidney domains.
We currently receive a lot of interest in our research and services from system and application developers, and tech start-ups in healthcare who are looking for a leap forward in R&D. At the same time clinical partners are looking to create reference systems with us.